Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

The Scot in British North America
Chapter VI The Influx of Settlement


There is no feature of our national life more creditable to the Canadian people than the contrast afforded by the state of society during the transition periods of early settlement, to that which prevailed in the United States under similar circumstances. Not only has the treatment of the Indians by the pioneers of colonization from the days of the Pilgrims down to the present time, been a foul blot upon the American name, but the general lawlessness and disregard of social and religious restraints which as a rule obtain in the newer American settlements have become proverbial. In these communities ruffianism tempered by lynch law is generally in the ascendant, life and property are insecure, and a low tone of morality prevails. It is years before the lagging forces of religion, law, education and social refinement overtake the crude rough elements of material progress, and establish a civilization worthy of the name. In the opening up of the Canadian North-West, law and order have been maintained from the outset to a degree perhaps unprecedented in the history of colonization in modern times. The missionary and the teacher have preceded the settler, to be followed by the mounted policeman. Crime is as rare as in any part of Canada, and lynch law unknown, because the arm of justice is strong and far-reaching. The wise provision excluding intoxicating liquor from the North-West Territories has conduced in no small measure to the good order to which all travellers through the country unite in bearing testimony. Even in Winnipeg where this restraint is not in forte, and where the feverish excitement of land speculation attracted an extensive floating population, many of whom suddenly found themselves in the possession of large amounts of money, there was never any parallel to the scandalous license and flaunting depravity of the mushroom cities of the American frontier, where the vices of civilization are intensified by the law-defying recklessness of border life. To the wholesome influence of the Scottish element which enters so largely into the directing forces of society in the North-West, this favourable condition of public morality is greatly due. The Scottish respect for constituted authority, for the ordinances of religion, and the Christian code of morality, which is instinctive with many of the old settlers as well as the more recent arrivals, has fortunately proved a strong barrier against the disintegrating and unsettling influences of a sudden influx of settlement.

When the Government resolved on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was foreseen that unless steps were taken to conciliate the Indians, and afford them reasonable compensation for their land, serious troubles were likely to arise. By the loss of their hunting-grounds, the Indians would be deprived of the means of subsistence, and would seek to appease at once their hunger and their resentment by raids on the more exposed settlements. Retaliation by the whites would be certain to follow, with the inevitable result of protracted and bloody border wars. In pursuance of the truly wise and statesmanlike policy of even-handed justice, which has made the Indians of Old Canada the firm friends and staunch defenders of British institutions, the Government undertook to extinguish the Indian H title to the land by inducing the various tribes to voluntarily surrender their claims in return for annuities and other benefits. Between the years 1871 and 1877, a series of treaties were negotiated with the Ojibbeways, Crees, Saulteaux, Blackfeet and other tribes, the effect of which was to secure from all the Indians, inhabiting the regions to be thrown apart for settlement between Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains, a formal cession of their rights in the soil, with the exception of the reservations set apart for their occupation. Nearly all of those engaged in the delicate and responsible task of conducting the treaty negotiations with the aborigines were of Scottish birth or extraction. Mr. Wemyss McKenzie Simpson, as Indian Commissioner, acting in conjunction with Lieutenant-Governor Archibald, was instrumental in concluding treaties with the Indians of Manitoba, by which the aboriginal title to that province, and a large adjacent region was extinguished. The subsequent treaties with the Indians occupying the country further west, were the work of Lieutenant-Governors Morris and Laird, assisted by a number of gentlemen whose knowledge of the country, and acquaintance with Indian peculiarities rendered their services of great value. Prominent among these were Hon. W. J. Christie, a retired factor of the Hudson Bay Company, the late Hon. James McKay, himself partly of Indian extraction, and Mr. Simon James Dawson. And here a few biographical details may be given concerning one whose name will always be closely associated with the suppression of the Riel insurrection in 1870, and the early influx of settlement.

Mr. Dawson is a Scot by birth, and connected through both parents with historic Scottish families. By profession he is a civil engineer. He came to Canada at an early age, and in 1851, received an important appointment in connection with the construction of extensive works on the St. Maurice River, for opening up the lumber regions dependent on that stream as an outlet. He carried out the plan successfully, and in 1857 was commissioned by the government to explore the country between Lake Superior and the Saskatchewan, to ascertain its fitness for settlement, and the practicability of opening up communication with it. This task being finished, he engaged in the lumber trade on the St. Maurice for some years. In 1868 he was entrusted with the work of constructing a road to Red River, available for travel, until the completion of the railway should offer a speedier and more convenient means of access. The engineering difficulties in the way were very great—the available resources small. The total distance is about 530 miles—forty-five of which at the eastern, and a hundred and ten at the western end can be travelled by waggons. The intervening three hundred and eighty miles comprises a line of water communication through a maze of lakes and rivers, the navigable portions of the route being frequently separated by rocky ridges or necks of land, across which canoes or other vessels have to be portaged. In 1870, when the expedition under Col. Garnet Wolseley was sent against the insurgents, this route, then far from complete, afforded the only possible means of access to Red River through Canadian territory, and but for the energy, determination and professional skill displayed by Mr. Dawson, in combating the physical obstacles to the march through the wilderness, the bloodless victory achieved by the mere presence of the troops must have been very considerably delayed. Mr. Dawson represented Algoma in the Ontario legislature, from 1875 until 1878, and in the latter year was returned for the same constituency to the Dominion House of Commons—being reelected in 1882. He is independent in politics, but has usually voted with the ministry on important questions.

Hon. W. J.. Christie was born at Fort Albany, East Hudson Bay, on January the 19th, 1824, his father being a Scotsman and a chief factor of the Hudson Bay Company at the time of its amalgamation with the Nor’-West Company. He was sent to Scotland for his education, returning to this continent with Sir George Simpson in 1841, and entering the Company’s service at Lake Superior. In 1843 he went to the northern department, and was one year at Rocky Mountain House engaged in trading with the Blackfeet. After holding responsible positions for many years at York Factory, Fort Churchill and Fort Pelly, he was promoted to the charge of the Saskatchewan District, which he retained fourteen years. In 1872, upon the reorganization of the Company’s business, he was appointed chief factor and supervisor of the country from Fort Garry to the Arctic circle. After making a tour of inspection, he resigned the following year, after thirty-one years’ active service, and settled in Brockville, Ontario—where he now resides. Mr. Christie’s tact and good management were specially conspicuous during the Riel insurrection, when he was in charge of the Saskatchewan District, and saved the Company the enormous losses which would have resulted had the insurgents assumed a hostile attitude towards them. He was appointed a commissioner for the purpose of effecting the treaty with the Plain District Crees in 1874, and was nominated a member of the North-West Council. During his long career he did much to promote the explorations and opening up of the North-West, his services being acknowledged in very complimentary terms in Capt. Palliser’s report of the expedition of 1858-9, and in other official documents.

For several years the Dawson route continued to afford settlers the readiest means of access to the North-West. It was not until 1879 that the Pembina Branch provided railway communication by way of the United States. Nevertheless, great progress was made in the settlement of the country by the steady influx of settlers attracted by the rich prairie lands or anxious to participate in the prosperity evinced by the rapid growth of Winnipeg. In 1870 that city was a village of some 215 inhabitants. It had about 500 in 1871 and progressed continuously during the decade until in 1881 it had attained a population of 7985. Then came the "boom" of 1881-2, when under the influence of increased facility of communication and the rush of emigration, business and population went up with a sudden bound. The land speculation craze attracted capital from all quarters and sent lots on the leading thoroughfares up to Chicago prices. The inflation has since subsided and business has got down to a healthier and less speculative basis. The present population is estimated at about 30,000.

Emigration into Manitoba and the North-West which up to 1873 had only numbered a few thousand received a decided impetus during that year when upwards of six thousand were added to the population from this source. There was a large influx of settlers the year following and the area of colonization extended beyond the Pembina Mountains, the land adjacent to the international boundary line being largely taken up. The year 1877 witnessed the founding of Rapid City on the Little Saskatchewan and the following year population began to pour into the surrounding country. In order to supply the settlements on the River Acciniboine the attempt was made to ascend the river by steamboat far as Fort Ellice. This had previously been considered impracticable on account of the rapids; but in May, 1879, the trip was made successfully by Captain Webber of the steamboat Manitoba. Communication to this point being secured, a considerable immigration to the region Eastward from Fort Ellice took place, and the town of Birtle was founded as a distributing centre for this section. The Sourie Plain also attracted many in search of farming lands. The total number of immigrants for that year reached eleven thousand. In 1880 it numbered about fifteen thousand—the region of Shell River considerably to the North of Fort Ellice being opened up for settlement.

When the Syndicate bargain was consummated an impetus was at once given to North-West development. Immigration was stimulated, business increased immensely, the prices of real estate rose, and every one accepting the ratification of the contract as a guarantee that the future of the country was assured essayed to discount its coming prosperity. Cities and towns sprung up everywhere—at, stations, or points which it was rumoured were likely to be stations of the line—at places where it crossed rivers—at the intersection of streams because of the facilities for water communication in different directions—beside rapids because the obstruction offered the advantage of being at the head of navigation—on rising ground because of the benefits of an elevated site and a commanding prospect—and in the middle of the broad prairie for the very obvious reason that they would have plenty of room to grow. Cities here, there, and everywhere-

Thou canst not find one spot
Whereon no city stood.

says Shelley’s "Queen Mab," and though there may be doubts as to its strict accuracy as a general observation, few who had any experience of the Manitoba boom will be disposed to question its truth as applied to that province. These embyro communities, it is true, were for the most part destitute even of the rudimentary blacksmith shop and tavern that form the traditional nucleus of the Chicagos of the future. Nevertheless, their lots were held and not unfrequently sold at prices which, as compared with the cost of the land a year or two before, offered a sufficiently favourable augury of their destiny to allure investors. The moral of the "boom" of 1881-2 is as old as the story of human credulity. Speculation ran high in connection with Winnipeg property, but in that case there was a tangible basis of actual value - it was simply a question of the probable extent and rapidity of the growth of a city with an assured future. In the case of the "paper cities," however, the very names of which have now been forgotten by all except the luck1ess investors, no man of ordinary foresight and intelligence ought to have been deluded into supposing that such investments possessed any real value beyond the trifle which the land would fetch for farm purposes. As a matter of fact not many even of those who lost money were so deceived. The question of permanent value was the last thing they considered. They valued their purchases simply as counters in a gambling transaction and their only delusion was in entertaining the idea that the public would keep up the game long enough to enable them to win.

Along the line of the Railway, however, a number of cities and towns grew up, the prosperity of which rested upon a more enduring basis. The Syndicate altered the course of the line to a more Southerly route than that at first projected—tapping a rich agricultural region. Portage la Prairie was reached in the spring of 1881, and by the close of that year the population had risen from about 800 to 2,700. In September of the same year the railway reached Brandon, 145 miles West of Winnipeg, and its developement received a sudden impulse. The city of Emerson is another place which has made substantial progress owing to its natural advantages of location and the enterprise of its leading men. It had no existence before 1874 and the following year the population numbered about a hundred. It obtained railway communications with St. Paul in 1879, settlers at once began to flow in, and in 1881 the population had increased to about 2,500.

According to the census returns the population of Manitoba has increased from 18,995 in 1871 to 65,954 in 1881. Of the latter number 16,506 are of Scottish origin and 2,868 were born in Scotland. The Scottish element is considerably larger than any other as the English by descent number 11,503, the Irish 10,173, the French 9,949, the German 8,652, and the Indians 6,767. Of the 7,985 credited to Winnipeg, 2,470 are of Scottish origin, 2,318 English, and 1,864 Irish. The population of the North-West Territories is given by the census of 1881 at a total of 56,446, of which 49,472 are Indians. Of the 6,974 whites, 1,217 are of, Scottish blood.

What Manitoba owes to the influence of the Scot, cannot be over-estimated. Her institutions are leavened by Scottish feelings; her public sentiment moulded by Scottish habits of thought; her business carried on largely by Scottish capital and enterprise; her leading merchants, her foremost politicians, the larger proportion of her principal professional men, bankers, professors, clergy—the men of thought as well as those of action—the guiding, governing brain forces of the nucleus from whence radiate the lines of settlement and traffic, are of that sturdy, indomitable North British stock, which, wherever the English language is spoken, is to be found in the van of the march of civilization—pioneer and path-finder for those that shall follow. Prof. Bryce, in his admirable work on "Manitoba, Its Infancy, Growth and Present Condition," bears the following testimony to the powerful Scottish sentiment which prevails in the Province, and the tenacity with which the Manitoba Scots adhere to the time-honoured observances of their forefathers, and cherish their national spirit.

"While true to their Canadian nationality, the strong attachment for British institutions among the people of Canada’s youngest province is seen in the vigorous maintenance of their national societies. The most active of these is the St. Andrew’s Society. This is maintained to assist their indigent fellow-countrymen, and cultivate Scottish literature and customs, not only by Scotchmen, but as the constitution provides by the Sons of Scotchmen, as well. Burns’ Anniversary, the Caledonian Games, and St. Andrew’s Day Festival, are maintained with the perfervidum ingenium characteristic of the nation." [Manitoba, Its Infancy, Growth and Present Condition," p. 358.]

The Scottish ascendency in politics of which those of other nationalities are sometimes disposed to complain—forgetful that where political honours are conferred by the people, such a complaint is an arraignment of the intelligence and discrimination of the electors—is equally noticeable in Manitoba as in the older provinces. Men of Scottish race mingled in not a few cases with a strain of aboriginal blood, the discendants of Hudson Bay officers and the Selkirk settlers together, with later arrivals of the same stock from Canada and the old land, form a very large proportion of the representatives of this mired community. Since the admission of the Province to the Union, about one-half of the Manitoba members have been Scots by birth or descent. Reference has a1ready been made to Hon. John Sutherland, Hon. Donald A. Smith, and Mr. Robert Cunningham—the latter a new-comer, and the two former old settlers. The leading features in the careers of some other Scotchmen, who have represented the Prairie Province in the Dominion Parliament may here be briefly given.

Hon. Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne was born in 1829, in South Ronaldsay, Orkney Isles; his father being James Bannatyne, an officer of the Fishery Department. He came to Canada at the age of twenty, and engaged with the Hudson Bay Company, in the service of which he remained until 1851. Mr. Bannatyne held office in the provisional government of Louis Riel, and has also been Post-office Inspector for the Province, a member of the Council of Assiniboia, and at a later period a member of the Executive Council for the North-West Territories. He was elected to the House of Commons for Provencher by acclamation, on the 31st March, 1875. Riel, who was previously elected, having been declared an outlaw, and a new writ issued. Mr. Bannatyne retired from parliamentary life in 1878.

Among the newer men in Manitoba public affairs, is Mr. Arthur Wellington Ross, M.P., for Lisgar. He is a Scottish-Canadian, being a son of Donald Ross, of East Williams, Middlesex County. His grandfather, Arthur Ross, of the 78th Highlanders, was one of the first settlers in the Township of Adelaide. A. W. Ross, was born on the 25th March, 1846, in the Township of East Williams, and completed his education at Toronto University. He was Public School Inspector for the County of Glengarry, for about three years, ending November, 1874, and during this period married Miss Jessie Flora Cattanach, of Laggan, in that county. On taking up his residence in Winnipeg, he applied himself to legal study, and was admitted as a barrister-at-law of the Province. During the era of real estate speculation, he invested largely in land, and as his operations were conducted with foresight and prudence, they proved extremely profitable, and Mr. Ross soon ranked as one of the wealthiest men in Winnipeg. He represented Springfield in the Manitoba Legislature, from 1878 until 1882, when he resigned in order to become a candidate for the House of Commons. In politics, Mr. Ross is a Liberal.

Two of Mr. Ross’ co-representatives in the Commons from Manitoba are also Scottish-Canadians, and like him new members. Mr. Robert Watson, member for Marquette, was born in Elora, Ontario, in 1853, his father being an Edinburgh man. He is a millwright by trade. Mr. Watson went to Manitoba in 1876, and engaged extensively in grain dealing and contracting, his ventures proving highly successful. His political views are Liberal. Mr. Hugh McKay Sutherland, was born in New London, P.E.I., on the 22nd of February, 1843, his family having originally come from Sutherlandshire. His parents removed to Oxford County, Ontario, when he was quite young. He was engaged as Superintendent of Public Works in the North-West, from 1874 until 1878. In the latter year he settled in Winnipeg, and went into the lumber trade. He is a member of the Liberal party.

The prevalence of the Scottish element has been equally marked in Provincial as in Dominion politics. On the organization of the Province of Manitoba, the class of old residents comprising the Hudson Bay Company officials—active or retired—and their descendants, together with the Scots of Kildonan, furnished most of the available legislative material. The Scottish predominance in the management of the affairs of the Hudson Bay Company, has already been fully dwelt upon. It was some years before the newer arrivals secured the ascendency in Manitoba politics, and largely displaced the Hudson Bay connection, and the native North-Westerners as popular representatives. It is significant that this change, so far as it has been accomplished, still leaves men of Scottish blood in the foremost political positions, as shown by the salient circumstance that three out of the five Manitoba representatives in the Dominion Parliament are Scottish Canadians of recent immigration.

Though the effect of the influx of population has been to change the complexion of the Manitoba legislature, it is noteworthy that the premier of the province is one of the old regime. Hon. John Norquay, is of mixed Scottish and Indian blood, the latter element being strongly manifested in his aboriginal cast of features, while the qualities of his paternal ancestry have been conspicuously manifested in his career. On his father’s side he is of Orcadian descent, his grandfather having come to the North-West from the Island of South Ronaldsay. His father also named John Norquay, was a native of Red River. The Hon. John Norquay was born on the 8th of May, 1841, and received as good an education as the settlement afforded, taking a scholarship at St. John’s academy in 1854. He was returned as a member of the first Manitoba Parliament, for the constituency of High Bluff, and in December, 1871, was appointed to a cabinet position with the portfolio of Minister of Public Works and Agriculture. He resigned along with his colleagues in July, 1874, but did not remain long out of office. He joined the administration of Hon. R. A. Davis the following year, and was assigned to the post of Minister of Public Works in May, 1876. Upon the defeat of the Davis ministry in October, 1878, he was called upon to form a new administration in conjunction with Hon. Joseph Royal. Mr. Norquay became Premier and Provincial Treasurer. A disagreement shortly afterwards occurred between the Premier and his colleagues, Messrs. Royal and Delorme, which led to the resignation of the two latter. Several changes were subsequently made in the personnel of the ministry. The Norquay administration was sustained in the general election of October, 1879—a re-distribution of constituencies having previously been made. It was considerably strengthened by the accession of Senator Girard and Hon. Maxime Goulet, representing the French element, and has since remained in power. Mr.Norquay, since 1874, has represented the constituency of St. Andrew’s. The most important measures of his administration have been the introduction of municipal organizations, the adoption of an extensive system of drainage, by which large districts of swampy and low-lying lands have been reclaimed, and the extension of the provincial boundaries, which has given Manitoba the area of a first-class province. Mr. Norquay’s course in connection with the latter question, in its more recent phases, has excited a good deal of feeling against him in Ontario. In commenting upon his course, however, it must in fairness be remembered that as Premier of Manitoba, he has acted strictly in the interests of the province, whose welfare he is pledged to advance, and to whose people alone he is responsible. It does not fall within the scope of the present work to enter into the elaborate technical details of the vexed Boundary Awardquestion, and the respective rights of the authorities which have come into collision on this debateable ground. But, whatever be the upshot, the representatives of Manitoba cannot reasonably be blamed for taking advantage of party dissensions at Ottawa and Toronto, to increase the territory of their province. The current political morality of the most enlightened nations has never risen to the lofty plane of voluntarily renouncing an advantage, because its acceptance involved an injustice to other communities. The Golden Rule finds no place among the maxims of diplomacy and, judged by the ordinary standards of political ethics, Mr. Norquay has acted strictly within the line of his duty to his province in pushing her claims. If the final settlement of the question results to the detriment of the strong, but divided Province of Ontario, the Manitoba Premier at any rate will stand guiltless of treachery to a cause to which he owes no allegiance and professed no devotion.

The political lines have not been very strictly defined in Manitoba until the last few years. The tendency at first was to subordinate party divisions to the interests of the province, and for some time the designations of Conservative and Reformer sat loosely upon many of the public men of the province. Of late, however, the identification of the interests of the Norquay administration with those of the Conservative ministry at Ottawa, and the strong party feeling of many of the new settlers from the older provinces, have drawn the lines of party more tightly. The Norquay administration is now strictly Conservative, and the political lines of cleavage in local matters coincide with the divisions of Dominion politics. Some of the more prominent of those of Scottish origin, who have taken part in provincial affairs, may now be sketched in outline.

Hon. James McKay was the eldest son of Mr. James McKay, of Sutherlandshire, who was for many years in the service of the Hudson Bay Company. He was bornat Edmonton House, Saskatchewan, and received his education at the Red River settlement. He was for some time in the employ of the Hudson Bay Company and afterwards went into business on his own account as a contractor. He superintended the construction of a portion of the Dawson route. On the creation of the Province of Manitoba he was called to the Legislative Council, occupying the Speaker’s chair for several years. He was appointed a member of the first provincial administration, organized in January, 1871, with the office of president of the Executive Council—which office he retained until the resignation of the ministry in December, 1874. Shortly afterwards he became Minister of Agriculture in the Government formed by Hon. R. A. Davis, from which post he retired in 1878 owing to the lingering illness from which he died on the 3rd of December, 1879. Owing to his known integrity and straightforwardness of character and his thorough acquaintance with the aboriginal nature he possessed great influence over the Indians and half-breeds which enabled him to render valuable services in connection with the various treaties by which the Indian title to the country was extinguished. He was married in June, 1859 to Margaret, the third daughter of Chief Factor Rowan of the Hudson Bay Company.

Another prominent member of the Manitoba Legislature who has passed away was Hon. Donald Gunn, a Scot by birth and descended from the clan whose name he bore. Born in the parish of Falkirk, Caithness-shire, in September, 1797, he came to the North-West in 1813 to engage in the service of the Hudson Bay Company in which he remained ten years, being stationed at York Factory, Severn and Oxford House. In July, 1819, he married Margaret the daughter of Mr. James Swain, of York Factory. On resigning his position in 1823, he settled at Red River. For upwards of twenty years he was one of the Judges of the Court of Petty Sessions, a portion of the time being president of the court. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Manitoba Legislature in the constituency of St. Andrew’s at the general election of 1870 and was nominated to the Legislative Council when that body was instituted. He held his seat until the abolition of the Council in 1876. Mr. Gunn was an enthusiastic naturalist, and by years of close observation and study had rendered himself thoroughly versed in the natural history of the North-West. He contributed numerous papers on this subject to the "Miscellaneous Collections of the Smithsonian Institution," and other publications. He was a corresponding member of the latter body and of the Institute of Rupert’s Land, and a member of the Board of Management of Manitoba College. He died at St. Andrew’s on the 30th of November, 1878.

Hon. Colin Inkster, who succeeded Hon. James McKay as Speaker of the Legislative Council and President of the Executive Council, is another representative of the class which supplied so large a proportion of the public men of Manitoba during the early days of the province. His father, John Inkster, was a native of the Orkney Isles and a Hudson Bay official, who in 1852 was appointed a Councillor of Assiniboia. Colin Inkster was born in the Red River settlement in 1843. He contested Lisgar unsuccessfully in the Conservative interest in 1871, and on the organization of the short-lived Legislative Council, was appointed one of its members. He resigned office in 1876 to accept a shrievalty.

Alexander Murray, M.P.P., for Assiniboia, is the only son of the late Mr. James Murray, one of the original Selkirk sett1ers, and was born in Kildonan on April 18th, 1839. He received his education at St. John’s College, where, in 1857, he took a scholarship. Mr. Murray who is a Conservative in politics and a strong supporter of the Pacific Railway policy of the present administration, was first returned to the legislature for St. Charles in 1874, and has been a member ever since, excepting during a short interval in 1878, when he occupied the position of Police Magistrate for the County of East Marquette.

Hon. Gilbert McMicken, who occupied the position of Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1880 until the general election of 1883, was born in Wigtonshire, Scotland, in 1813. He came to Canada in his nineteenth year, and has occupied numerous responsible public positions in Ontario. He was for many years a resident in the Niagara District where he held several municipal offices, and represented Welland County in the Legislative Assembly of Canada from 1857 to 1861. Mr. McMicken’s scientific attainments enabled him to effect two important improvements in telegraphy, which were patented in 1847. He was also the first to span the Niagara River with a wire. He was appointed Stipendiary Magistrate for Canada West during the American Civil War, receiving the special thanks of Lord Monck for the efficient discharge of this responsible duty. During the Fenian excitement he was Commissioner of Police for the Dominion, and his arrangements for discovering the plans of the Fenians contributed greatly to the repulse of the raiders in 1870. He performed a similar service in connection with the contemplated Fenian attack on Fort Garry, during Lieut.-Governor Archibald’s term. He had charge of the Dominion Lands office in Manitoba from the time it was opened, and held the position of Assistant Receiver-General and other official posts until superannuated in 1877. Mr. McMicken was returned for Cartier as a Conservative in 1880, and held his seat until the last general election.

Hon. John H. McTavish, one of the members of the first Manitoba Parliament, is Scottish Canadian, having been horn at Grafton, Ontario, in 1887. He came to Red River in the service of the Hudson Bay Company, at the age of nineteen. During Riel’s insurrection, he had charge of the business of the Company at the settlement. He was returned for St. Anne by acclamation at the first general election, and retained his seat until April 3rd, 1874, when he was appointed a member of the Executive Council for the North-West Territories. In politics, he takes the Conservative side.

Among other ex-members of the Provincial Legislature of Scottish origin, may be mentioned, Mr. Kenneth McKenzie, a native of Inverness-shire, who represented Portage La Prairie between 1874 and 1880; John Gunn, son of the Hon. Donald Gunn, who sat for North St. Andrews from 1874 to 1878; David Spence, who represented Poplar Point, in the first Legislature; William Robert Dick, a Scot-Canadian, born in Ernesttown, Ont., elected for Springfield, in 1874; Angus McKay, a brother of Hon. James Mackay, and member for Lake Manitoba for the years ’70-’78; John Taylor, of Orcadian descent, representative of Headingly, 1874-78; and John Aldham Kyte Drummond, son of the late Lieut.-Col. Drummond, of Kingston, who sat for High Bluff for 1878-80.

Hon. Alexander Macbeth Sutherland, the present Attorney-General of the Province, is the third son of Senator Sutherland. His mother Jeannette Macbeth, was a daughter of the late John Macbeth, one of the early Selkirk settlers. He was born at Point Douglass in 1849, and completed his education at Toronto University, where he graduated in 1876. He was returned for Kildonan in 1878, and has represented that constituency in the legislature ever since. Mr. Sutherland entered the Norquay cabinet as Attorney General, in September, 1882.

Among the accessions to the legislature at the last election, are Charles Hay, Member for Norfolk, born in the Orkney Islands, in 1843, who settled in Manitoba in 1862, a member of the mercantile firm of Campbell, Hay & Boddy, of Portage La Prairie, an Independent, and Finlay McNaughton Young, who represents Turtle Mountain, born in Chateauguay County, Quebec, of Scottish parentage, who is opposed to the Norquay administration.


Previous Page | Return to Index Page | Next Page